In 2013, I applied for Australian Tourist Visa and was denied one. At that time, I already have a 10-year multiple entry US Visa and have visited at least 15 countries in the past 2 years including South Korea, Taiwan and China. I think I have submitted all requirements including a personal bank certificate from BDO with an amount enough for me to live in Australia for 6 months with a spending capacity of 100USD per day, a travel insurance from Blue Cross, business papers and related documents, and other documents of some properties. Despite those, I was denied of a visa. Surprisingly, based on the letter I received, the case officer has noted that: I have never been outside the country. A shocking result of evaluation for me. So I immediately emailed the case officer about the matter and attached scanned pages of my passport. To my surprise, I was told that they can only open my case if I have to pay anew. Meaning, I have to apply again and pay another 6,400.00 for a wrong decision given to me! I declined a second application then and went instead to Nepal.
This year, since I really wanted to see Australia and New Zealand, I applied again, and this time around, they gave me a multiple entry visa for 3 months. The Embassy gives, 3, 6 or 12 months visa based on one’s request.
Many say that getting a visa approved is based on the completeness and correctness of the documents submitted. I agree to some extent. However, another factor, beyond the applicant’s control, which actually determines if a visa will be granted or denied, is the mood of the visa officer making the evaluation. We can not deny that they are also human beings, and in some (rare) occasions, they make unfavorable decisions. I do not claim that I should have been issued a visa in 2013; what I claim is that, the decision to my application made by the case officer is not for me. He made a wrong remarks when he said that I have never been outside the Philippines.
Having both the experience of being denied and granted a visa still doesn’t make me a visa expert or anything close to that. I am just recounting my experience without any intention to put harm to anyone.
REQUIREMENTS WHEN APPLYING FOR AN AUSTRALIAN TOURIST VISA (no sponsor)
- Properly filled up Application Form 1419 (subclass 600) – make sure it’s the latest form as they always update it. Ensure also that a valid and existing email address is indicated.
- Visa Fee of 130 Australian Dollars (because application is made in Manila/outside Australia) – this must be in the form of Manager’s Cheque payable to “Australian Embassy Manila” and must be in Philippine currency (check exchange rate with the bank or call the Visa Center first prior to buying the MC). Credit card payment is also accepted. There is a page in the Application Form for electronic payment. Note however that there is additional surcharge for electronic payment.
- Photo copy of all passport pages with immigration stamps, visa from other countries and the bio page. Also, the passport must be valid for travel. Attached photo copies of previous passport if available. Have it notarized. DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL PASSPORT.
- ID picture. The right size. Just tell it’s for Australia Visa and the Photo Center would know it already.
- Original NSO Birth Certificate
- If applicant has served in the military, certified military service records or discharge papers.
- Financial documents such as Bank Certificate enough to cover all expenses while on holidays. As to how much, no idea. I was denied a visa when I presented almost a million peso but was granted when I presented a little over 200,000.00 pesos. Include also photo copies of credit cards, if available.
- Work documents – if employed, documents such as certificate of employment, leave form, certificate of compensation/salary, BIR (also include SSS/GSIS certificate of contributions though not needed), company ID and other government issued IDs. If employer/professional, business papers such as DTI/SEC, Mayor’s Permit, BIR and other related documents
- Itinerary while in Australia which includes hotel, tour activities and related information. Do not include confirmed air ticket. It’s not required.
Place everything in a long brown envelop and send to:
Australian Visa Application Center
Mezzanine Floor Unit M01, Ecoplaza Building
2305 Pasong Tamo Extension,
Makati City, Metro Manila 1231
8am to 3pm Monday to Friday for lodging applications
8am to 4pm Monday to Friday for general information
+632 790 4900
9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
Or if applicant is nearer to Cebu:
Australian Visa Application Center
9th Floor, Keppel Center, Unit 905, Samar Loop
cor. Cardinal Rosales Avenue,
Cebu Business Park, Cebu City 6000,
+632 790 4900
Visa processing time varies but normally it takes 15 working days. Either granted or not, the Australian embassy will send an email notification about it. Any document submitted to the embassy will not be returned. If a visa is granted, they will issue a Visa Grant Notice. If denied, they will issue a letter explaining such.
The Australian Embassy does not provide visa sticker, only a Visa Grant Notice (similar to Dubai Visa).
Steps in Applying for Australian Tourist Visa ONLINE
Philippine Passport Holders residing outside Australia can now apply for a Visitor e600 Visa online. The following are the steps in applying for an Australian Tourist Visa online:
1. Make sure to create and log-in using your ImmiAccount. You can create your account HERE. Make sure to provide correct information to all required fields.
2. Once you have created your ImmiAccount, check your email from firstname.lastname@example.org and verify by clicking the provided link. You have to do this to validate and activate your newly created ImmiAccount. Log-on with your account using your nominated username and password.
3. Answer truthfully all questions that follow. There are 18 pages here. On page 2, you will be asked to give details of your travel to Australia. You may provide your date of arrival and departure and reason/s why you visit Australia.
a. Page 3 is about your passport details and some other information. The last question is about Health Examination. Has this applicant undertaken a health examination for an Australian visa in the last 12 months? It may imply that you need health certification. If you answer Yes, you are required to give details in the box provided. If you answer No, you proceed to next page.
b. Page 4 is Critical Data Confirmation. You can correct wrong entries should you have provided an incorrect one. If no correction, click Yes and proceed to next page.
c. Page 7 is contact details of applicant.
d. Page 10 is period of your stay. Here, you can indicate if it’s single entry or multiple entry. You will need to provide details.
e. Page 12 is your Employment Records.
f. Page 13 is your Financial Capacity.
g. Page 17 is Character Declaration. Answer “No” to all entries. If “Yes” to some questions, provide details.
h. Page 18 is Declarations. Answer “Yes” to all questions. A “No” answer to any question is not a good one.
4. You will need to attach scanned copy/ies of required documents as listed in the prompt page including but not limited to: passport (biopage), travel history (immigration stamps in your passport and other visa/s), bank statement, evidence of employment, evidence of other assets and NSO birth certificate. If you don’t have those documents at the moment, you may attach them later on, at least within the next 30 days. All provided data are stored in your ImmiAccount. However, you can still proceed to pay and attach the documents after payment.
5. Pay 135AUD using a debit/credit card in the window prompt provided.
6. Wait for updates/result of your application in your ImmiAccount and email.
Note that you can upload maximum of 60 documents per application. Incomplete documents will be processed longer. Your Case Officer may ask for other documents as maybe needed. Processing time varies.
There. Enjoy Australia!